The Brooklyn Nets were busy on Thursday night. After to send veteran point guard Jeremy Lin to the Atlanta Hawks, the Nets got back on the phones. In their next move, they connected on a salary dump deal with the Denver Nuggets.
According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the trade will see the Nuggets send Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, a protected 2019 first-round pick and a future second-round pick to the Nets in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead. The team will then waive Whitehead. Also, per Wojnarowski, the pick is protected 1-12.
Denver has agreed to send Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, a 2019 protected first-round pick and a future second round pick to Nets for Isaiah Whitehead, league sources tell ESPN. Salary dump for Denver.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2018
Source: Denver's 2019 first-round pick to Brooklyn is protected 1-12.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2018
This is just your classic salary dump move by the Nuggets, who were looking to shed some money after committing $200M in combined salaries to Nikola Jokic and Will Barton earlier this summer. In the end, it was Faried and Arthur who had to go, saving the Nuggets $21M.
For the privilege of getting off Faried and Arthur's contracts, the Nuggets had to give up a first-round pick. They were able to protect it 1-12, but given the Nuggets' goals for next season, it would be a major disappointment for the team if they're in the lottery again and that pick doesn't convey. Plus, with Michael Porter Jr. possibly sitting out this entire season, they could end up having a lottery pick debut in 2019-20 anyway.
For the Nets, this is a savvy move. Though they're finally out from under the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett deal, it will still be a few years before they're good again. As this move shows, though, they're on the right track. Picking up extra first round picks in exchange for taking on extra salary in seasons you aren't going to contend anyway is exactly what the Nets should be doing.